South Africa's State of Unemployment Disaster

opinion

As President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his 2020 State of the Nation Address you would expect the escalating unemployment crisis to be a prime issue. However, while there's a lot of talk about the crisis, there's no urgency for real action and innovations to assist job seekers. Meanwhile, people without work are kept away from those in power, uninvited to sites of planning like the Jobs Summit.

South Africa's unemployment rate remains 29% - five times the rate for the rest of the world. To most South Africans, even this distressingly high rate does not capture the full extent of joblessness. The headline figure, also known as "strict" or "narrow" unemployment, considers just the seven million people who have actively sought work in the last four weeks.

There are a further 16 million people in the working age (15 to 64) who are rendered invisible, none of them working. They are people who want work but have become discouraged, or people regarded as economically inactive because they report not looking for work.

Considering countries around the world where there is more work to go round, it is clear that in South Africa, most of the discouraged and economically inactive should not...

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